Movement, talent and that old antifascist


Hoary old phrases like, “Trophies are not awarded in February” will be heard today.  While this is technically true, let me add another, last night’s performance was Season Defining.

I worried before the game that our midfield would be too new for the occasion and too lightweight for the ‘robust’ opponents.  As it transpired, anyone in blue who intended to offer a robust and in-your-face derby baptism, were like statues, compared to Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor.  For the majority of the game, Callum played the Masked Virtuoso No. 6 role, before moving to the No. 8 position, then ending at No. 10.  Quite a shift for a man carrying an injury.

Throughout the first half I continually said, “It’s all about the movement”, but then I watched Josip Juranovic and thought, “When did I last see a Celtic right back put in a performance like this?”  Yes, movement was the masterplan, but the reality is, Celtic have far better players.

Metrics detailing the effectiveness of shots from outside the box give you a sniff of what might happen when a player pulls the trigger from distance, nothing more.  Outcomes depend on your survey population.  If I shoot from 20 yards, one outcome will occur.  If Reo Hatate shoots from the same distance, another.  Reo’s conversion ratio from distance will surly drop, but goodness, what an outstanding threat he is.

With Cameron Carter-Vickers in front of you, a goalkeeper should put in a calm performance.   Joe Hart had a relatively easy evening, but with the score at 1-0, he raced from goal to smother a through ball which evaded the Celtic back line.  It was a crucial intervention, within minutes Celtic were 2-0 ahead and there was no way back.  Across a pulsating 90 minutes, this detail could be overlooked.  That would be an error.

The only goal I have seen back on video (so far) is the third.  Before watching, the question was, Where did he come from?  When Reo Hatate crossed from the left, Liel Abada was standing at Springfield Cross – believe me, I’ve watched it repeatedly.

You’ll hear people talk about having a change of pace. Liel started his run at a sprint, then, when it was too late for his defending full back to react, he dropped a gear and exploded forward.  Barisic, the full back in question, dropped to the ground, knowing the horrors he was about to witness.  It was too late to do anything else.  That change of pace brought Liel into the heart of the box unmarked.

The finish looked easy.  I remember Kenny Dalglish, who watched on from the stands, made the same thing look easy at Celtic Park.  It was not easy, it was masterly.  Leil met the ball on the drop volley and allowed the pace of his run to apply the necessary force to tuck it away.

At halftime, one of my sons held up his fingers in a ‘5’ gesture?  Oh, to be brought up in an era when we expect to score so many against the other side of the city.  Ange is too clever for that.  Four days earlier, Matt O’Riley got cramp during a game, Callum McGregor has been out with a serious face injury, Reo Hatate is still going through his preseason regime.  We started the second half intent on maintaining our winning lead, an objective delivered with comfort.

As we discussed, trophies are not handed out in February.  But to paraphrase that old antifascist, this is not the end of the Ange Postecoglou development plan for Celtic. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Enjoy your day.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. I think Gio will get the rewards for his efforts on Sunday.


    What anhour he put in last night.

  2. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Of our last three “make or break” games, last night’s was considered as being our most difficult.


    In effect, it was by far our easiest.


    One of my sons, in his forties, Tweeted me last night to say that in his time watching Celtic, last night’s first half was some of the best football he had ever seen us play.


    My first game was in 1950, and I can’t recall anything better than that Total Football either, even from you know who.


    It was a victory created by everyone who entered Celtic Park last night, whether through the main entrance or through every turnstyle,.



    Reo Hatate’s performance particularly, will live as a Famous Day in our History.



    Well done, Celtic people.

  3. @Boondock saint…..lovely post…..Yesterday was the long Wednesday…….I’m sure every Tim….mabye.


    Did everything possible to make the day go by until 7.45 pm.. and when Reo gently caressed the early goal..


    every emotion came out………Whatever anybody want’s to call it…….


    Old Firm….Glasgow Derby…….i don’t care ..cause to me it will always be….We beat the Huns


    There’s something special about wearing the green today….In memory of beloved Sellic Bhoys


    who have left us…And the joy of the young team who have it all in front of them…CQN 2088





  4. I was worried about Hatate,as I mentioned before,not really lasting the game out,but listening to Ange say,he is not really fit yet,was music to my ears.What a player.What a midfield when all are fit.Even Mc Carthy,who is not as finished as some would believe.

  5. Delighted that some are admitting to a change of mind about Greg Taylor. Playing in a functioning team has brought the best out of him- Ange rates him! KT is gone, let’s support his long – term replacement.



    As Nils Lofgren sings “Ain’t no crime to change your mind”

  6. Best Hun tweet last night, about Calum McGregor – “We’re being bossed by the Fenian of the Opera f*** sake.”

  7. They always give Man of the Match to somebody scoring two goals, but Juranovic, Taylor and O’Reilly must have been close. And the myth that you need away fans for ‘atmosphere’ was holed below the waterline last night, it was as good an atmosphere as I’ve known in years.





    From last Thread.


    Cheers DRAMBOWIECELT for your kind words.


    God Bless you and wee INDIE.


    HH Mate.

  9. Fieldofdreams



    Agreed,I’ve never really understood what exactly thousands of Huns coming to Celtic Park singing racist and sectarian songs, abusing all around them, smashing up the toilets and looking to pick off off innocent bystanders on the way home did for the atmosphere exactly, answers on a postcard to the Laptop Loyal

  10. Fitzy








    See for all the patter Celtic have taken for the discolights – there was a short moment before the game where the rangers players were stood in darkness, 60,000 Celtic fans going ***** mad, while the green light shines on the huddle.



    In pitch black they stood and watched on.

  11. HH



    speaking of history


    at previous clubs


    are you aware, typically,


    AngeBall dosnt really kick into gear


    until his second year.




    things are going to get better



    oi oi oi

  12. Field of drams


    I hope we keep them out of our stadium for a long time they only bring hate.




    Agreed, that was quite the moment and then we came flying out of the gates.



    Wee headache this morning, keep the noise down please blog.




    Just watched the highlights on the unique angle on YouTube and I noticed that they were in pitch darkness while we did the huddle. Loads of things played their part in unnerving them, surely that’s one. Also noticed before the third goal Reo pretending to sort his socks before receiving a quick pass , this gave him the jump on tavpen who was sleeping

  15. I want to call out Greg Taylor today!!! I’ve been concerned about him as a left back lacking physique and not fitting the mould. I thought last night he bossed his position, played the inside role well and tackled like a maniac all over the pitch. What a warrior like performance!



    He played the last 15 on one leg but with the heart of a Lisbon lion!

  16. Hail Hail



    good night all and be blessed of your gods



    11:15 PM 29 degree dark and muggy Perth.



    buzzing shattered and running on empty



    Same way I feel when you win The Grand Final



    Ange has crossed the Rubicon


    let the die fly




  17. I wisnae even born when Big Jock was taking the Hoops to European Cup Finals.



    Hearing the Old Timers getting as excited as me about this Celtic team is truly Magical.



    What a performance by Celtic last night.



    And we were without so many players!!!!!

  18. if ever there is justification of “its a squad game” it is now,



    toying in my head this morning with the question of who should be our staring eleven if all fit, and I cant decide other than hart.

  19. fieldofdrams on 3rd February 2022 2:50 pm



    Best Hun tweet last night, about Calum McGregor – “We’re being bossed by the Fenian of the Opera f*** sake.”






    Callum is TOP TOP Drawer, the Radio Clyde dude (plays for Livingston ouch) said Ramsey is now the best midfielder in Scotland – he husnae even played a Scottish game.



    Ange is the Man!!!!

  20. Saint Stivs on 3rd February 2022 3:37 pm



    if ever there is justification of “its a squad game” it is now,



    toying in my head this morning with the question of who should be our staring eleven if all fit, and I cant decide other than hart.






    And thats the way it should always be.



    We have so many players to come back, most excellent players too.



    I was @ Celtic Park early for the first time in many many years… I asked the 2 Coppers @ the bottom of the Celtic Way, after a mad amount of high speeding motorbikes coming frae Dalmarnock station area, wiz that the Rangers 2 buses team?



    The copper said it was all rather tame and he expected it to be a lot worse. We are Celtic, Ange is the Man!!!!



    In the Holy Ground it was a whole different matter.



    Incredible Celtic Support – its only when you watch the game back you realise how Amazing the Support wiz and being right at the edge of the Celtic end I didnae even hear our Support @ the east side of the Jungle!!!

  21. Sonic booms in stadium are back again, Cadete goal, Naka against Man Utd free kick and last night, yes crowds don’t score goals but anyone, I dont care who it is is aware of the atmosphere noise and colour.




    Wilson , darling of the MSM scored first on a frozen pitch before a Chalmers hat trick and goals from Murdoch and Gallacher made the final score 5-1 . We didn’t just beat the establishment favourites, we thrashed them . I just knew then as a youngster that I had just witnessed something from Jock Stein’s fledgling team that could e the start of something big .



    Last night felt a bit like that .





    I remember it well – and the real Rangers were 0-1 up at the interval. I heard a story that although Davey White was joyous at half-time, none of his players shared their boss’s optimism.

  23. “SAINT STIVS on 3RD FEBRUARY 2022 3:37 PM


    if ever there is justification of “its a squad game” it is now,


    toying in my head this morning with the question of who should be our staring eleven if all fit, and I cant decide other than hart.”



    Interesting but i think I would add a few other definite starters in our `best` team.


    Juranovic,Carter-Vickers,McGregorand Jota.



    My choice






    O`Riley,McGregor, Hatate.





    The players left out shows just how strong we are at the moment.

  24. I mentioned last night, I got home in incredible time last night, left with 88 minutes on the clock, I was in the hoose for 10 past ten.



    watching all the celebrations I must have been in the 5,000 or so early leavers, the celebrations showed a packed out celtic park.



    quite outstanding.



    being a wee bit pessimistic which i aint really, i dont know that i like that level of celbration just yet, sure first win against thems and it was monumental, but i am hoping no hangovers or come downs for the team out to sunday, I wonder if they trained at all today,



    I do like a something that English of all people has said, when hatate goes off he turns and bows, kyogo does the same, all very japanese humbling.



    why dont he fans all do the same, remember when we used to do the hands up and bow for lubo, i would like to see that again.



    i am still buzzing by the way, so how must those players feel ?



    one other wee comment from me, that is a very united and confident staff on the bench.



    how did it work out that Ange kept them ? when others doubted.



    lets go to work on the Well, focus celtic please, focus.

  25. just to prove i can be a moan as well.



    something that is doing my head in as a self confessed statto.



    Celtic never seem to publish attendance figures anymore.



    last night the seats were filled right round to under the police control centre,



    so it must have been near or over the 60,000.

  26. Young Greg now playing a full back as opposed to a winger … Huns appear to be trying out the same tactics , let the wingers lead the fight with support from the middle of the park.



    Net effect lack of cover for the centre halves , full backs having to cover more ; two Hun wingers not covering anything , clueless when not in possession… so the game has stretched for the Hun and it doesn’t suit their current personnel



    I doubt the Dutch bloke will go back to the Scouse git’s brutal formation , so for me it will slowly unwind for the current leader of the Huns , gone by the summer




  27. …..and our back up eleven:




    Ralston, Jullien.Scales,Welsh.




    Forrest, Giakoumakis ,Maeda.




    Sorry to Ideguchi and McCarthy :-))

  28. Just to follow up , when we moved from WGS formation to cavalier BTM , it brutally exposed our 2 centre halves , Heid and Big Mick … shades of that last night from the Hun …. Also not as much falling about from them , perhaps the Dutch bloke has done a Cloughie and told them to throw away their medals as they won them be cheating



    …. Anyway he’s toast by June




  29. One of the highlights for me last night was the hunger and bravery of Capt Calmac.he up his game and after what i thought was some below par performances before his injury.not only did he set an inspiring example to his fellow players with his effort and tenacity but he was a lot braver with his passing aswell.


    i think Ange has done brilliantly not only in the transfer market but the new players he has brought in have also gave the ‘older’ players a wee boost and a nudge aswell.


    Inspiring management Ange..Hail Hail Brother

  30. The excellent CBN put it much much better than I could.











    This is process over personnel



    I joked before but ” Angeball” no more than 55% complete



    Buckle up



    What did I say about patience?

  31. Loved Reo’s Lubo celebration.



    Must be something about scoring your second goal against the Huns so early into your Celtic career



    Some things don’t age



    Reo being slightly younger than the gift from god mind



    Listen mate he’s not fully fit made me grin